Filed under: Healthy Swellness

Healthy Swellness: Lake Plunge Adventure with Yeti


As lake plunges and ice baths have gotten more popular over the last couple of years, I’ve scoffed at the fans. And then I tried it. And I liked it. A lot.

My first experience was in March at a session at Othership. The guided session starts with a long stint in the sauna, followed by two minutes in the ice bath, and then more sauna time. I wrote about the ice bath/cold plunge trend for Fashion–you can read it here.


But a lake plunge is a whole other story, in my opinion. For one, I wouldn’t be be in an intensely hot sauna beforehand; at Othership I was almost craving some cold relief after an intense 30 or so minutes in the sauna. With the lake the water is moving more and there’s the rocks to content with underfoot. And what I saw as the most difficult hurdle: you have to walk into the lake (versus simply stepping into the ice bath and lowering yourself down). I envisioned myself ankle-deep in freezing water, my body saying NUH-UH and I’d just turn and head straight back to the beach.

I interviewed Unbounded, a Toronto-based company that offers guided lake-plunge experiences, and they invited me to do a lake plunge with them. Which I figured I’d try but I wanted some moral support and haven’t found a friend who wants to do it. But then I got an invitation from Yeti to do a lake plunge at sunrise. I told them right away to count me in.


We met at sunrise in early April. The experience was actually facilitated by Unbounded, and we started with a meditation and a little warmup session of stretched and a little cardio on the beach (think jumping jacks and high knees). They recommended water shoes, so I got on my HBC x Tevas and before I knew it, we were hand in hand and walking into the water.

I think the water was as cold as the ice bath I’d done at Othership (so about 2 Celsius). I think we walked until we were about waist deep and then we all lowered down to about our shoulders together. It was shocking to the system and I remember exclaiming out loud a little (“Oh my–!”) and locking eyes with the guide–he nodded encouragingly–and I know I focused on taking deep breaths to alleviate the panic I felt percolating.


Then two minutes was done! I can’t say it passed quickly and I was eager to get out. We all sort of scattered a bit as we got out of the lake – I had a hard time getting my legs moving and thankfully one of the girls came back to grab my hand. We changed quickly out of our bathers and into a warm Yeti hoodie and gathered around the campfire for some hot coffee as the sunshine danced on the lake, and we all had a little extra sparkle in our eyes from the exhilarating experience.


For any adventure, it’s always a good idea to be well prepared with your gear to make the experience as smooth – being well prepared is something I’ve really come to appreciate from my camping trips (or maybe I came to appreciate it  from my Brownie days – that was the motto, “Be prepared.”). For this sunrise plunge, Yeti kitted us out so we had a ton of Yeti gear–Lowlands Blanket, toque, hoodie, and a Rambler travel mug for the hot coffee post-plunge–and a towel. And all of the gear was easily totable to the lake in a Yeti Camino 35 Carryall. The Carryall is the best: it has a flat bottom so it stands upright, and I like to use it for road trips for things I like to have easy access to such as my tripod and toiletries, and for camping, I tend to pack the dry food goods in it (anything that I don’t need to put in my Yeti cooler, which is another favourite of mine).


Once I’d warmed up by the fire and I packed up my gear into the Carryall and headed home (way before I’d typically even by up on a weekday), that post-plunge high lasted all day. I immediately texted a few friends again to say I think they’d love it (they still don’t believe me!). And while I know the health benefits that Wim Hoff promotes aren’t proven, the mere rush you feel and the confidence boost it gives you (well, it gave me a confidence boost because it’s not something I ever thought I could do!), I can see how it is addictive.

I no longer scoff at people I see doing cold plunges; in fact, you might see me out there too! Thanks to Yeti for the sunrise cold-plunge adventure and all of the gear I’ll be using all year long!

Photos courtesy of Yeti. I did take a time-lapse that morning, but the phone I recorded it on didn’t save it properly (doh!) – but you can view the IG Reel I made of that morning here.


Leave a Comment May 15, 2022

Healthy Swellness: My Goals for 2022


I fared pretty poorly at working on my goals for 2021. Last year, I was exhausted and had little free time. It’s difficult to make certain things like reading a priority when working seven days a week and typically 16-18 hour days. So my goals for this year are all about moving onward and upward! A better and healthier balance to how I spend my time.

I will read a minimum of 12 books this year. And I have a new strategy to motivate me: I set up a challenge with two of my best friends on the Goodreads app. First person to complete 12 books wins a prize, and the person who reads the most books wins a second prize. This taps into my competitive nature so it’ll keep me reading (I’ve already finished one book!).

I will get my running back on track. I usually run at least three times a week. In 2020, I ran the most ever in one year (thanks to completing the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee), and in 2021? The least I’ve run, I think, since I started running. I ran regularly at the beginning of the year because I had the Peloton Tread to test out. Having the Tread meant I was able to squeeze in a run at about midnight (the only time I could make for working out before falling into bed). But once I returned the Tread after my three-month trial, I barely ran at all. some months, I ran twice. All month. I completed only 307.7 kilometres all year long in 2021. As a result, while I have been working out, I haven’t been running and my pace is about as slow as it was when I first did the Learn to Run clinic. To get my runs done regularly, I will run-commute more (which has the bonus of saving on transit costs and avoiding the TTC, which has become an unsafe place with encounters with maskless, unhinged people every single ride). To also motivate me, I’ll register for an in-person race if I can find one that’s happening (i just find virtual races much tougher to be motivated for).

I will cook at least twice a week. Cooking regularly has never been an issue for me, until last year and I ended up eating much more instant foods and frozen stuff. So this year I will cook at least two meals a week. I’m doing more research for recipes online, and I just scored an Instant Pot at a thrift store so I’m excited to have this new gadget to play with this year. And when I need to I’ll make it easier to prepare my meals, whether that’s using a meal delivery plan like Chef’s Plate or Evive smoothies (pictured above).

I will blog at least twice a month. After only posting a handful of times last year, this year I’m committing to creating more content both for Instagram and the blog. Since I’m not traveling much or eating out much (what with the ongoing restrictions in Toronto, I’ll likely be covering more cooking and fitness and sharing favourite products.

Every day is a new day. I think one of the chefs on Top Chef said this in an episode I watched recently, and that’s how I’m approaching every day n 2022, as an opportunity to crush your goals and make your life better. I’d love to hear about any goals you’ve set for yourself this year!

Oh, and if you’ve got favourite Instant Pot recipes, please do share! And if you’re interested in a certain type of content from me, slide into my DMs!

Leave a Comment January 16, 2022

Healthy Swellness: 2021 Year in Review


Here we are at the end of 2021. You know how they say time flies when you’re having fun? Well, it flies when you’re not having fun, too. And real talk: I don’t have it in me to do a thorough recap. There’s a lot about this year I’d rather not reminisce about. But I think it is helpful to look back, to see what I learned and how to move forward.

It’s been an exhausting 12 months. Most of this year, I worked 18-hour days and worked through many weekends.Because of my schedule, my running has completely derailed. After running more than I ever have last year, this year after the spring,  I barely ran at all. I also didn’t get to work towards any of my goals for the year: I read all of five books. What free time I had, I either used to sleep or just be a couch potato watching Netflix because I had zero energy to do much else (18-hour days and making sure my dog gets as much exercise that she needs leaves little else for anything).

But even with this grueling, relentless day to day throughout much of the year, as I scroll through my calendar and my camera roll, I see that there were bright moments this past year. I partnered with brands I’m fond of (Giant Tiger again, plus Osmows and Cookie Pal). I also started writing for the Toronto Star, and continued writing for other outlets like Destination Toronto and CAA. I started one job in the late winter I thought was a dream job (it was not) and started in the fall with another with a great team, so happy that I’m closing out the year on a good note professionally. Also through work, I’ve had lots of great opportunities: test drives with General Motors, day trips to small towns (including spending the day with some adorable goats), a visit to the beautiful Terre Bleu with its lavender and sunflower fields, a trial of the Peloton Tread (I was amongst the first in Canada to try it!) and the Bike+, so yes, there are still plenty of good things that happened workwise this year.

As for any sort of travel, 2021 was the year of road trips. As someone who has traveled regularly for many years, being here in Toronto since March 2020 hasn’t been much of a hard adjustment (I’m too tired to really have it sink in that I haven’t left Canada in forever), I’ve just shifted focus to fewer trips, all local travel. I’m so happy that I finally made it up to the Bruce Peninsula; Tobermory and Lion’s Head is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen Ontario. And  I got to enjoy a bit of cottage life, which has also never been a part of my lifestyle (I have not had any friends who own cottages, for one, and they’re so incredibly expensive), but this year I rented two, went to my bestie’s new cottage twice, and was lucky enough to visit another cottage in the fall (plus I had a great camping trip at my favourite campsite). Getting away from the city has been a soothing balm to the harshness of life in the city this year.

But not being able to travel is small potatoes in the big scheme of things. What I learned from this year is that I’m stronger than I think, and in the process, I also achieved one goal: to gain a greater sense of gratitude. Every day I give hugs to my little animal kingdom, and when it comes to my friends? Through all of 2021, my closest friends and family have kept me sane and I’ve tried to let them know how much they mean to me. And despite how tough this year was, everyone is healthy and safe (and we got double vaxxed with boosters soon!), and that’s what matters most.

Here’s to closing off the year safely and happily and making 2022 absolutely stellar!

KK xo

Leave a Comment December 31, 2021

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